Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Office in Lakeview, Oregon
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge was originally established as two separate areas, having different names and different jurisdictions. The original Sheldon National Antelope Refuge was established in 1931 and contained more than 34,000 acres. The Charles Sheldon Antelope Range, or Game Range, was established in 1936 and comprised over 540,000 acres; the two areas were combined to form what is now the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, comprising over 575,000 acres under the sole administration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A VARIED LANDSCAPE SUPPORTING OVER 270 SPECIES OF WILDLIFE
The refuge is primarily high, semidesert country typical of the Great Basin, characterized by large tablelands and rolling hills. These areas are interrupted by narrow valleys and canyons bordered by precipitous rocky rims. Elevations range from 4,100 to 7,200 feet above sea level.
Habitat types include big and low sagebrush areas, mountain mahogany, and bitterbrush in the mountains above 6,000 feet. Other important types include alkaline lakes, marshes, grassy spring-fed meadows, greasewood flats, juniper covered uplands, and aspen stands in the more secluded canyon areas. Each of these areas supports its own particular wildlife species.
ENJOYING THE REFUGE'S WILDLIFE
The study of wild animals in their natural habitats has become an increasingly popular pastime for many people. Due to the large expanse of the Sheldon area, viewing wildlife on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge can be greatly enhanced by a pair of binoculars or spotting scope. Binoculars enable one to observe all animals from a distance - mule deer and antelope to small birds - without disturbing the animals.
Wildlife species in this brochure are grouped into five categories: birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish.
FOR YOUR SAFETY
Because of the isolation and vastness of the refuge, inquiries should be made at refuge headquarters about current road conditions before travelling to the more remote portions of the refuge - especially in the winter and spring months. Refuge headquarters is located in Lakeview, Oregon, with a subheadquarters at Dufurrena, 30 miles west of Denio, Nevada.
Bird populations vary greatly in numbers and species according to seasons. Heavy migrations of waterfowl and waterbirds visit the refuge during spring and fall with a portion of these remaining through the breeding season. During the summer months, a wide variety of the smaller birds and birds of prey are present, attracted to the numerous cliffs and spring-fed riparian areas. The best opportunity to observe the greatest diversity of bird life on Sheldon Refuge is from May to October.
The following bird list contains 192 species, plus 27 accidental species that have been recorded since the refuge was established. It is not considered final as observations by many people continue to add to the quality and accuracy of the list. We encourage and appreciate these observations and ask that they be reported as soon as possible to the Lakeview or Dufurrena offices.
A few abbreviations have been used pertaining to the birds found on Sheldon to assist the observer in determining status and seasonal abundance. Names are in accordance with the Sixth (1983) American Ornithologists' Union Checklist of North American Birds as amended.
PR - Permanent Resident: Species is present the entire year, usually nests
in the area.
SR - Summer Resident: Migratory species which usually nests in the area.
WR -Winter Resident: Migratory species which winters in the area.
M - Migrant: Usually present spring and fall only, but occurrences may extend into other seasons.
TV - Transient Visitor: Irregular species or vagrants occurring sporadically and usually in small numbers.
Accidental Species - Recorded only once or twice on the refuge and in very few numbers.
S - (Spring) March through May
SU - (Summer) June through August
F - (Fall) September through November
W - (Winter) December through February
Seasonal abundance codes:
a - Abundant: common, usually numerous, certain to be seen in proper habitat
c - Common: occurring in smaller numbers, should be seen in suitable habitat sites
u - Uncommon: present but in few numbers, not certain to be seen
o - Occasional: seen infrequently during a season
r - Rare: seen at intervals of two to five years
* - Birds known to nest in the area
*? - Birds thought to nest in the area
Keys to all Wildlife
? - status unknown
* - Mammals thought to occur on the refuge, or, for fish, indicates native species
# - Threatened/Endangered Species
Refuge personnel and visiting professional and amateur ornithologists have contributed the observations for this list. It is undoubtedly incomplete; many other species probably use the refuge at least occasionally. Contributions of confirmed sightings are welcome.
Seasonal Status Abundance LOONS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Common Loon TV - - o -
Seasonal Status Abundance GREBES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Horned Grebe M r - r - ___ Eared Grebe * SR u c u - ___ Western Grebe * SR u o u - ___ Clark's Grebe * SR u o u - ___ Pied-billed Grebe * SR u c u -
Seasonal Status Abundance PELICANS AND CORMORANTS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ American White Pelican M u u - - ___ Double-crested Cormorant M u u - -
Seasonal Status Abundance HERONS AND BITTERNS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Great Blue Heron SR o u o r ___ Great Egret M o o o - ___ Snowy Egret M o o o - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron * SR o u o - ___ American Bittern * SR o u o - ___ White-faced Ibis M o o - -
Seasonal Status Abundance WATERFOWL Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Tundra Swan M o - u o ___ Canada Goose * PR c c c o ___ White-Fronted Goose M - - o - ___ Snow Goose M r - o - ___ Mallard * PR c c c u ___ Gadwall * PR c c c o ___ Northern Pintail * PR c u c o ___ Green-winged Teal * PR* c u c o ___ Blue-winged Teal * SR o o o - ___ Cinnamon Teal * SR c c u r ___ American Wigeon ? PR u o c o ___ Northern Shoveler * SR u o u - ___ Wood Duck TV r r r - ___ Redhead * PR c u c o ___ Ring-necked Duck PR o o o o ___ Canvasback * PR u o u o ___ Lesser Scaup * PR u o u o ___ Common Goldeneye WR o - o u ___ Bufflehead WR o o u u ___ Ruddy Duck * PR c c c u ___ Hooded Merganser TV r - r - ___ Common Merganser WR u - u o
Seasonal Status Abundance VULTURES, HAWKS AND FALCONS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Turkey Vulture * SR u c u - ___ Goshawk * SR r r r - ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk *? SR u o u - ___ Cooper's Hawk * PR u u u u ___ Red-tailed Hawk * PR c c c u ___ Swainson's Hawk * SR o o/r o - ___ Rough-legged Hawk WR u - u c ___ Ferruginous Hawk * PR u u u o ___ Golden Eagle * PR c c c u ___ Bald Eagle # WR - - o o ___ Northern Harrier * PR c c c u ___ Osprey TV r - r - ___ Prairie Falcon * PR c c c o ___ Peregrine Falcon # M r - r - ___ American Kestrel * PR c c c u
Seasonal Status Abundance GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Sage Grouse * PR c c c c ___ California Quail * PR u u u u ___ Chukar * PR c c c c
Seasonal Status Abundance CRANES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Sandhill Crane * SR o o u -
Seasonal Status Abundance RAILS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Virginia Rail * SR o o o - ___ Sora * SR o o o - ___ American Coot * PR c a c u
Seasonal Status Abundance PLOVERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Killdeer * SR c c c o
Seasonal Status Abundance SANDPIPERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Common Snipe * PR u u u o ___ Long-billed Curlew * SR o o o - ___ Spotted Sandpiper * SR u u u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper M o - o - ___ Willet * SR u o u - ___ Greater Yellowlegs M o - o - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs M o - o - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher M o o o - ___ Western Sandpiper M o - o - ___ Least Sandpiper M o - o -
Seasonal Status Abundance STILTS AND AVOCETS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ American Avocet * SR u u u - ___ Black-necked Stilt * SR u u u -
Seasonal Status Abundance PHALAROPES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Wilson's Phalarope * SR c c c - ___ Northern Phalarope M r - r - ___ Red-necked Phalarope M o - o -
Seasonal Status Abundance GULLS AND TERNS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ California Gull SR u o o - ___ Ring-billed Gull SR u o u - ___ Forster's Tern M o ? o - ___ Caspian Tern M o o o - ___ Black Tern *? SR u o u -
Seasonal Status Abundance DOVES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Mourning Dove * SR c c c -
Seasonal Status Abundance OWLS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Screech-Owl * PR o u o o ___ Great Horned Owl * PR o o o o ___ Burrowing Owl * SR u o u - ___ Long-eared Owl * PR o o o o ___ Short-eared Owl * PR u u u o? ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl PR o o o o
Seasonal Status Abundance GOATSUCKERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Common Poorwill * SR u u o - ___ Common Nighthawk * SR u c u -
Seasonal Status Abundance SWIFTS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Black Swift TV o r - - ___ White-throated Swift * SR o c - -
Seasonal Status Abundance HUMMINGBIRDS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird *? SR u u - - ___ Rufous Hummingbird *? SR u u - - ___ Calliope Hummingbird *? SR u u - -
Seasonal Status Abundance KINGFISHERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Belted Kingfisher M o o o -
Seasonal Status Abundance WOODPECKERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Northern Flicker * PR c c c u ___ Lewis' Woodpecker M o o o - ___ Red-naped Sapsucker M o r o - ___ Hairy Woodpecker SR u o u - ___ Downy Woodpecker SR u o u -
Seasonal Status Abundance FLYCATCHERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Eastern Kingbird TV - o o - ___ Western Kingbird * SR o o - - ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher * SR o o o - ___ Say's Phoebe * SR u c u - ___ Willow Flycatcher SR o o o - ___ Hammond's Flycatcher M o - o - ___ Dusky Flycatcher * SR o o o - ___ Gray Flycatcher * SR u c u - ___ Western Flycatcher M o - o - ___ Western Wood-Pewee M o o o - ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher M o o o -
Seasonal Status Abundance LARKS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Horned Lark * PR a a a a
Seasonal Status Abundance SWALLOWS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Violet-green Swallow * SR u c u - ___ Tree Swallow * SR u o o - ___ Rough-winged Swallow * SR u u u - ___ Bank Swallow *? SR u u u - ___ Barn Swallow * SR u c c - ___ Cliff Swallow * SR c a u -
Seasonal Status Abundance CROWS AND JAYS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Scrub Jay * PR c c c u ___ Black-billed Magpie * PR c c c u ___ Common Raven * PR c c c u ___ American Crow TV o o - -
Seasonal Status Abundance CHICKADEES, TITMICE AND BUSHTITS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee M o - o - ___ Mountain Chickadee * PR o o o o ___ Plain Titmouse * PR o o o o ___ Bushtit * PR u u u o
Seasonal Status Abundance NUTHATCHES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch WR u - u o
Seasonal Status Abundance WRENS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ House Wren * SR u u u - ___ Winter Wren TV - - o - ___ Bewick's Wren WR o - - o ___ Marsh Wren * PR u c u o ___ Canyon Wren * PR u u u o ___ Rock Wren * SR u c u -
Seasonal Status Abundance THRASHERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Sage Thrasher * SR c a c -
Seasonal Status Abundance THRUSHES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ American Robin * PR c c c o ___ Varied Thrush TV o - o - ___ Hermit Thrush M u o o - ___ Swainson's Thrush *? M? o u o - ___ Western Bluebird M o - o - ___ Mountain Bluebird * SR u c c o ___ Townsend's Solitaire * PR u u u o ___ Northern Mockingbird TV o o r -
Seasonal Status Abundance GNATCATCHERS AND KINGLETS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher * SR u u o - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet *? PR u o o o ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet M u - u -
Seasonal Status Abundance PIPITS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ American Pipit M o - u -
Seasonal Status Abundance WAXWINGS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Cedar Waxwing M o - o o
Seasonal Status Abundance SHRIKES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Northern Shrike WR - - o o ___ Loggerhead Shrike * PR c c c u
Seasonal Status Abundance STARLINGS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ European Starling * PR u u u u
Seasonal Status Abundance VIREOS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Warbling Vireo * SR u o u - ___ Solitary Vireo M o - o -
Seasonal Status Abundance WARBLERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Orange-crowned Warbler * SR u o u - ___ Yellow Warbler * SR u u u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler * SR u o u - ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler * SR o o o - ___ Townsend's Warbler M o - o - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler *? SR u o u - ___ Common Yellowthroat * SR u u u - ___ Wilson's Warbler M u o u - ___ Nashville Warbler M o o o - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat * SR o o o -
Seasonal Status Abundance WEAVER FINCHES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ House Sparrow * SR o o o o
Seasonal Status Abundance MEADOWLARKS, BLACKBIRDS AND Nesting Code S SU F W ORIOLES ___ Western Meadowlark * PR c a c o ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird * SR u c u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird * SR u c u o ___ Brewer's Blackbird * SR c a c o ___ Brown-headed Cowbird * SR u c u - ___ Northern Oriole * SR u u u -
Seasonal Status Abundance TANAGERS Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Western Tanager * SR u o o -
Seasonal Status Abundance GROSBEAKS, SPARROWS AND FINCHES Nesting Code S SU F W ___ Black-headed Grosbeak M u o o - ___ Lazuli Bunting * SR o o o - ___ Cassin's Finch * SR u u o - ___ House Finch * SR u u o - ___ Pine Siskin M - - o u ___ Lesser Goldfinch M o - o - ___ American Goldfinch M o - o - ___ Green-tailed Towhee * SR u c u - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee M u - u - ___ Savannah Sparrow * SR u u o - ___ Vesper Sparrow * SR u c u - ___ Lark Sparrow * SR o o o - ___ Black-throated Sparrow * SR o o o - ___ Sage Sparrow * PR u c u u ___ Dark-eyed Junco *? PR u u u o ___ Chipping Sparrow M u u u - ___ Brewer's Sparrow * SR c a c - ___ White-crowned Sparrow * SR c o c - ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow M o - o - ___ Fox Sparrow *? SR? o o o - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow M o o o - ___ Song Sparrow * PR u c u o ___ Snow Bunting WR? - - - o
ACCIDENTAL SPECIES Eurasian Wigeon American Redstart Marbled Godwit Rose-breasted Grosbeak Sanderling Evening Grosbeak Baird's Sandpiper Indigo Bunting Mew Gull Summer Tanager Band-tailed Pigeon Bobolink Merlin Hooded Oriole Dipper Purple Finch Clark's Nutcracker Common Redpoll Gray Catbird White-throated Sparrow Yellow-bellied Cuckoo American Tree Sparrow Curve-billed Thrasher Lapland Longspur Brown Creeper Rosy Finch Tennessee Warbler
For additional information please contact:
Refuge Manager Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 111 Lakeview, OR 97630 Telephone: 503/947-3315
No person shall, on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, physical or mental restrictions, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in any program or activity of the Department of the Interior.
This resource should be cited as:
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 08/93 . Wildlife of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unpaginated.This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 08/93. Wildlife of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govsheldon.htm (Version 22JULY98).